When I dragged the third load in from the car, I regretted, for a moment, that I did not make kit packets for everyone in class. It would be easier if I made a sample to follow, cut out all the papers, choose three colors to use and teach the class that way. That would have made one trip possible.
But following a sample, and assembling a tiny journal from a kit would not support creativity, would not allow experimentation and discovery. So I cheerfully hauled in papers, threads, paints, inks, buttons, screws, nuts and the rest of the choices.
It was a gratifying class. Colors flew, participants mixed inks and paints, used new tools and created wonderful journals of their own making. It was real creative work. The pieces they made were truly the work of their own hands.
About three years ago, I said slow art–creativity without kits, a class without a sample to follow, results that varied with each person–was my goal. I would not make kits, I would not encourage people to copy a sample and strive for perfection and speed.
I know why teachers do the kit class. It’s much more practical and easier. It’s a bit more work up front, but it guarantees success (everyone makes a perfect project), and you limit what you have to bring into the classroom. Plop a packet in front of each person and it’s done. Not so much set up. Less clean-up.
For me, it’s not a class. For the participants, it’s freeing not to have to race against the clock to create a perfect replica of the teacher’s sample. It helps people get in touch with what they want to learn, what ideas they want to work with. It’s so much more satisfying than duplicating a sample.
Not every page was successful, but each was satisfying. Participants learned now to fix mistakes and clear up color choices. And I did not mind in the least carting out all the equipment it takes to teach a class without kits. It’s a much richer teaching experience. It looks like it works–great results, and my car is big enough after all.
Congratulations to Kimberly Santini, who won the Gold Sumi-e Watercolor in the cute ceramic dish! Can’t wait to see what she does with it!
–-Quinn McDonald is a teacher of writing and creativity.
9 thoughts on “Slow Art Wins a Round”
I love hands on classes. They are so much more enjoyable and I learn more. Thanks for sticking to your guns and doing the slow art. i wish I lived closer, I would love to take one of your classes.
You’d have a lot of fun, although you could be teaching. That WOULD be fun!
Not too sure about the teaching part when it comes to the drawing. If it was using computers that wouldn’t be a problem. I used to use Microsoft Paint to teach my computer students mouse control and they got to create art at the same time. Most of them would come to class and say they weren’t creative but would leave saying how much fun they had.
Drawing doesn’t make you an artist. Deep creativity does, and you’ve got that.
Wow, thank you!
I much prefer to attend classes like that, I hate it when everyone has carbon copies at the end.
Another one for the slow art team!
I agree wholeheartedly – no kits. The experimentation was great for me, and exactly what I needed to get my creative juices flowing. Couldn’t WAIT to get home and do some more experimenting. Thank you so much for a great afternoon!
You made our own fun–and that is the best part of no kits!